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Michael Barnhill

Co-FounderSpecialist ID

Atlanta, GA

Member Since July 2016




The self proclaimed “World's Preeminent Badge Holder Expert”, Michael Barnhill is a musician, father, athlete, husband, and co-founder of Specialist ID, Inc. Through his dedication to building the best badge holder company in the world, he’s been an integral part of the phenomenal growth and longevity of Specialist ID, a business that began in a dorm room in 2002 and now celebrates its fourth year in a row on the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest growing private companies. Customer driven, product focused, and with passion for badge holders, branding, and e-commerce, Michael is a lifelong learner who is enjoying watching his vision of becoming “The Nike of badge holders” become a reality.

Published content

11 Clear Signs It's Time to Cut Ties with a Vendor

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Maintaining good relationships with your vendors helps ensure that you consistently receive the goods and services you need and achieve mutually beneficial goals. But when the buyer-supplier relationship begins to sour for whatever reason, it may be best for your business to cut ties and move on. To help you determine whether it's time to seek out a new vendor partnership, 11 Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) members shared their insights on the following question:

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Great customer service is easy to spot but difficult to master. While some tactics are obvious, like treating the customer with respect and fairness, the very best techniques for improving customer service might not be what you expect. During their business journeys, the members of Young Entrepreneur Council have learned some unexpected lessons about making customers happy. Below, nine of them shared surprising tidbits they've picked up along the way that can help businesses revamp and improve their existing customer service infrastructure.

10 Tips to Help You Start Your Small Business (Even on a Low Budget)

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Opening a small business isn't easy, even when you have plenty of money to do it. Getting a small business off the ground with little to no budget is an even more challenging feat. However, with the right amount of passion and strategic planning, anything is possible.  To help you get started, a panel of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) members answered the following question:

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Before a new business can set up a marketing strategy, the very first thing it must do is determine who its target customers are. While it may seem simple to pinpoint your ideal customer, sometimes you can end up making assumptions that aren’t actually true, and if you don't get your target customer base right, your marketing efforts will be focused on the wrong people. Fortunately, there are some tried-and-true ways for a business to determine who its target customers are. Here, eight members of Young Entrepreneur Council share their best tips for how to go about doing just that.

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When an entrepreneur starts a business, the immediate concern is how much it will cost to set up. Cost can sometimes seem like a barrier to entry for those hopeful business owners looking to get started on a budget. Luckily, evolving tech has provided many free alternatives to the paid tools other professionals use. But with so many of these tools on the market, you could spend months sorting through them to find the ones that work best for you and your business. To help you narrow down the list, 15 leaders from Young Entrepreneur Council offer their best suggestions for free tools that solopreneurs can use to help keep startup costs down.

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The world of work has changed significantly over the last year, with many companies moving to fully remote work. With this new environment comes a new way of managing. As teams are physically separated, it becomes even more important for leaders to find ways to bring them together. To offer some ideas on how to build such camaraderie, 11 members of Young Entrepreneur Council share their thoughts on the following question:

Company details

Specialist ID

Company bio

Specialist ID is a family-owned and operated business, incorporated in 2001. We provide ourselves on customer service and concern for you and your business. Our clients include Fortune 500 companies, Churches, Schools, The Federal Government as well as SMEs and individuals.


Security & Investigations

Area of focus

ID Badge Holders
Retractable Reels

Company size

11 - 50